United States Fourth Circuit

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Ostergren v. Cuccinelli, 09-1723

In a First Amendment challenge to Virginia's Personal Information Privacy Act, which prohibits intentionally communicating another individual's social security number to the general public, judgment of the district court is affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded where: 1) the First Amendment does reach plaintiff's publication of Virginia land records containing unredacted SSNs; 2) district court's August 22, 2008 decision is affirmed as enforcing section 59.1-443.2 against plaintiff for the Virginia land records posted on her website would violate the First Amendment as Virginia's failure to redact SSNs before placing land records online means that barring plaintiff's protected speech would not be narrowly tailored to Virginia's interest in protecting individual privacy; 3) there is a lack of jurisdiction to consider whether the First Amendment prohibits Virginia from enforcing section 59.1-443.2 against plaintiff for publishing non-Virginia public records containing unredacted SSNs; and 4) district court's June 2, 2009 decision entering a permanent injunction is reversed as the district court abused its discretion by not tailoring the scope of the remedy to fit the nature and extent of the constitutional violation.

Appellate Information

  • Argued 03/23/2010
  • Submitted 07/26/2010
  • Decided 07/26/2010
  • Published 07/26/2010



  • United States Fourth Circuit


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